Norwegian by Night

by Derek B. Miller

Crime / Mystery Debut Books of the Month eBooks of the Month Thriller and Suspense

LoveReading View on Norwegian by Night

Winner of the Goldsboro Last Laugh Award at CrimeFest 2014.

One of our Books of the Year 2013.

Maxim Jakubowski's November 2013 Book of the Month.

Winner of the CWA John Creasey Dagger 2013.

Sheldon Horowitz is 82, a retired American Marine and reluctantly moves to Oslo to where his granddaughter has settled. Confronted by an ugly crime, he goes on the run with a six-year old boy and has to use all his past skills, despite fading faculties and the ravages of age, to escape a fierce gang and confront the failures of his past life and, hopefully, redeem himself. Tense, gently humorous, unsentimental and often tragic, this thrilling tale spins a new angle on the theme of the involuntary sleuth struggling on unknown ground and proves profoundly humane and touching and highlights a gripping vision of the bleakness of Scandinavia and northern landscapes quite unlike that previously described by the recent vogue of Nordic  crime authors. The revelation of a major new talent.


Derek B. Miller said: “My sincere thanks to the judges and the Crime Writers' Association. This award feels less like a victory than a wonderful form of encouragement. And I appreciate that, deeply, because no one has ever encouraged me to write before. Tolerated me writing … sure. But encouraged me? Not as much. So thank you.”


September 2013 Debut of the Month.

Sarah Broadhurst's view...

This, as a good chase thriller, is thrilling but add a conscience and some fascinating personal history to the main character and suddenly you have something very special.  Our hero, unusually, is 82 years old!  He is rescuing a child who witnessed his mother being murdered by Kosovo thugs.  So we have the thugs and the police chasing a cantankerous old American Jew and the lad across Norway.  That in itself is an excellent plot but this thriller has so much more.  It looks at the Norwegian culture, Jewishness, World War II, Korea, Vietnam, war criminals, drug dealers, police tactics and more.  An interesting book on several dimensions with a strong plot and plenty of space to explore different ideas.  Highly recommended for both genders, thriller lovers and book club/reading groups.


CWA Judges' comment: “Tension, humour and tragedy are combined in this beautifully-written contribution to Nordic noir with a twist from an English-speaking author. With a central character who is original, wonderfully humane and convincing, this debut novel cleverly avoids many the genre's clichés and pitfalls and emerges triumphant as a fully-dimensional gem.”

Maxim Jakubowski

Norwegian by Night Synopsis

He will not admit it to Rhea and Lars - never, of course not - but Sheldon can't help but wonder what it is he's doing here...Eighty-two years old, and recently widowed, Sheldon Horowitz has grudgingly moved to Oslo, with his grand-daughter and her Norwegian husband. An ex-Marine, he talks often to the ghosts of his past - the friends he lost in the Pacific and the son who followed him into the US Army, and to his death in Vietnam. When Sheldon witnesses the murder of a woman in his apartment complex, he rescues her six-year-old son and decides to run. Pursued by both the Balkan gang responsible for the murder, and the Norwegian police, he has to rely on training from over half a century before to try and keep the boy safe. Against a strange and foreign landscape, this unlikely couple, who can't speak the same language, start to form a bond that may just save them both. An extraordinary debut, featuring a memorable hero, Norwegian by Night is the last adventure of a man still trying to come to terms with the tragedies of his life. Compelling and sophisticated, it is both a chase through the woods thriller and an emotionally haunting novel about ageing and regret.

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All versions of this book

ISBN: 9780571294275
Publication date: 05/09/2013
Publisher: Faber and Faber Crime an imprint of Faber and Faber
Format: Paperback

Book Information

ISBN: 9780571294275
Publication date: 5th September 2013
Author: Derek B. Miller
Publisher: Faber and Faber Crime an imprint of Faber and Faber
Format: Paperback
Pagination: 304 pages
Genres: Crime / Mystery, Debuts of the Month, eBook Favourites, Reading Groups, Thriller / Suspense,
Categories: Crime & mystery, Thriller / suspense,

About Derek B. Miller

Derek B. Miller is the director of The Policy Lab and a senior fellow with the United Nations Institute for Disarmament Research. He has a PhD in International Relations from the University of Geneva, and an MA in National Security Studies from Georgetown University, in cooperation with St Catherine's College, Oxford. He lives in Oslo with his wife and children.

More About Derek B. Miller

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